We caught up with Wellington singer-songwriter Louis Baker to chat about his recent song releases, which were NZ music collaborations, and being part of Waiata Reo Māori Live and the Te Matatini 50 year celebration. 

You’ve had a busy past month releasing two new tracks – tell us about your recent releases Kapakapa featuring Kings and your collaboration with Pacific Heights Back To You

Back To You was a track Devin and I started working on at the end of 2017 but didn’t finish. Then last year we had a convo about how we both really liked the song and decided to get it tracked properly. It’s that kind of track that feels both melancholy and uplifting at the same time. When I was writing the lyric I kept thinking about the concept of ‘everything happens for a reason’, and trusting in the universe, so I think that comes through. 

Kapakapa was written in Waimarama at the APRA Te reo Māori Songhubs by Kings, Te Kuru Dewes, Rory Noble (Producer) and myself. I loved making that track, firstly because it’s helped me to connect further to te reo Māori and te ao Māori, and secondly because it was hilarious working with them all. Heaps of laughs. It was super fun and chill creating with the brothers. There were a whole lotta vibes in that room.

You were part of the special Waiata Reo Māori Live showcase last week which had an incredible line-up – what do you love most about performing live?

I love the connection with the audience and the band. I love hearing the crowd singing the song back to me. It’s a buzz. 

You also recorded a waiata with Maisey Rika as part of the Te Matatini 50 year celebration. Can you share with us a bit about your involvement in this?

It was a huge honour to be a part of the Te Matatini 50 year celebration, and to sing Wahine Pūrotu by the legendary, Te Waka Huia. Singing this waiata with Maisey Rika was a privilege, and I send a big mihi to Rob Ruha for asking me to be part of this special kaupapa. 

Where do you like to get creative/source inspiration?

You are what you eat, so anything can be an inspiration. I get mine from nature, walking on the beach and breathing in the fresh air, reading poetry and books, watching films, listening to a new record, and spending time with the ones I love. 

Who are you enjoying listening to right now?

I really like Sam Wills, Smokey Robinson, Daniel Caesar, H.E.R and Indian classical Raga in the mornings.

What do you hope is on the horizon for the next 12 months?

Super excited to be producing a new record and playing more live music. More to be announced soon…

You can keep up with Louis Baker on Instagram and his new tunes are available to stream now.